The coveted Ashes Test series is just around the corner and the players from both England and Australia have started the war of words along with the preparations. Undoubtedly, with such intense rivalry and big series, there come many unforeseen challenges. No matter how much delicately players prepare, for such a long summer of cricket, many unexpected things do happen as well for either of the teams which play mentally in the back of their heads both on and off the field.
In the same vein, the biggest example has been none other than the current Australia skipper Pat Cummins, who had to don the captaincy out of nowhere replacing Tim Paine with the last Ashes series was just two weeks away. Consequently, there was a lot of uncertainty he was pushed into until the first Test at the Gabba started and his captaincy role went like a smooth transition.
In the same vein, in the upcoming Ashes 2023 series, a few changes have been constantly going on in the English camp, ranging from a selection conundrum to the fitness of the players and their availability along with slight leadership changes. Yes! England have recently announced their squad for the first Ashes Test with a slight change in the deputy role. Notably, this is being deemed as a move to find the future skipper should Ben Stokes steps down or fails to play due to ongoing injury and speculations about it. And man this time to feel that uncertainty and how things may pan out for him is none other than the talented English batter, Ollie Pope, who has been appointed as the new Vice Captain of the England Test side.
I have watched how he goes about stuff closely: Pope
When asked about handling the new role he has been bestowed with, the 25-year-old said that being with Stokes has helped him to some extent as he has observed the legendary Southpaw from close quarters on how he goes about leading the team. Furthermore, Pope also showed his bold side by saying that should Ben Stokes fails to lead the team due to ongoing injury concerns, he is all ready to take on the mantle and lead the team. He also admits that though he may not replicate all the things his senior does but can execute his ideas and messages to the team in his own ways.
“There is only one Ben Stokes,” Pope said. “I have watched how he goes about stuff closely. If he were to get injured I will not try to replicate exactly what he does in terms of his team talks and that kind of thing, but if it were to happen [I would] just implement the same ideas and messages,” Pope was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“Fingers crossed he can stay fit, stay on the park, score his runs and take his wickets, but if required I feel in a good enough place to take over,” Pope concluded.
Interestingly enough, Ollie Pope has led Surrey only for once as their captain along with leading the national side in the tour matches when Stokes was allowed to rest.